There are many health issues that exist which only women are affected by. Because of this, there have been over the decades many specialized women’s healthcare services becoming more accessible. These specialists may focus on various health issues, ranging from heart health, to pregnancy, to breast and ovarian cancers. The most common and well-known of these are obstetrician and gynecology specialists, which focus on the health of women’s pelvic organs and reproductive systems. In recent years, however, the new women’s health specialty, called urogynecology, has become more and more sought after.
Urogynecologists are women’s health specialists that combine various functions and knowledge from obstetrics, gynecology, along with urology. Though urologists generally treat both male and female urinary-tract health issues, the addition of obstetrics and gynecology means that urogynecologists focus only on female urinary, pelvic, and reproductive health issues. Having only received official status as a sub-specialty between the years 2011 and 2013, urogynecology is still a relatively new area of health study and treatment. Yet, because of the specific health issues that it focuses on, as well as the numbers of women that are affected by these issues, urogynecology treatments have quickly become very important and helpful in the realm of women’s health.
Urogynecologists are able to evaluate and treat varying conditions that affect women’s pelvic organs, as well as the muscles and connective tissue that support these organs. These conditions often include pelvic issues such as urinary and fecal incontinence, prolapse and fistulas, pelvic or bladder pain, and other other issues relating to problems emptying the bladder or rectum. These issues can result from a variety of causes, ranging from childbirth, to menopause, to general aging, to even the effects of other medical or surgical treatments. Even more, the conditions that urogynecologists treat affect 1 out of every 4 women, which exceeds the numbers of women who suffer from diabetes or depression.
Depending on the specific condition and its severity, urogynecologists may utilize three main methods of treatment. Where it is evaluated that certain behavioral factors relating to diet, exercise, or environment are the causes of a condition, a behavioral approach to treatment may be utilized. In other cases, a urogynecologist may prescribe various pharmaceutical medicines for a pharmacological approach to treatment. With those conditions and cases that are more serious, a urogynecologist may determine that a surgical approach to treatment is best.
Though the field of urogynecology is still relatively new, it has been proven to be essential and valuable for many women’s life and health. For any women that have questions about any issues they are having with their pelvic or reproductive systems, it is important to get a referral from their physician or ob/gyn right away to have a consultation and evaluation with an experienced urogynecologist.